Today, I wear a few hats in my new career in Health and Complementary Medicine.
I am an Ambassador for MS Limited (Australia), Sports Kinesiologist and Motivational Speaker.
Let’s rewind 10 years ago to 2004 when I was 24 years old. I was enjoying life in every way possible, working in the Fashion Industry; a career that I loved. I was happy, dating and out with my friends.
This was the year I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
I was a determined, career driven young woman, so understandably I was shocked and devastated.
I had a few minor symptoms over the next few years including numbness, balance issues, and weakness on the left hand side of my body. But they were often years apart so this allowed me to live in denial of my diagnosis.
In 2009 I lost my ability to walk from a big MS attack that paralysed the entire left hand side of my body. I lost my career and the use of my body. Simple little things like the ability to wash and feed myself became the most difficult task of the day. I lost my big fashion career and life as I knew it. I went from running around, enjoying my life, to standing still and paralysed. I was living life to its fullest, and suddenly found myself in turmoil and darkness. I went from feeling in complete control of my future, to feeling totally helpless.
In less than ten days my whole world had crumbled, as my body slowly, day by day, became paralysed. I could not feel or move the left hand side of my body. It became dead and heavy. My sister literally had to drag me, on her back, up and down stairs along the carpet, to see my doctor.
They checked me into hospital at the beginning of January 2009 and I knew going in that I wasn’t going to be leaving any time soon. They started me on the standard MS therapy, a high dose of Steroids for 3 days. I was not responding – so they continued for a total of 5 days. But I still could not move.
I was moved into rehab at Epworth Richmond in Melbourne and the work began. I stayed for 2 months. I hit rock bottom, I had to ask myself “am I ever going to walk again”? I was stretched to my limits emotionally and physically, beyond normal comprehension and everything stopped.
One day, I remember sitting in my wheelchair in my rehab session, working hard, trying to make my fingers open and close, with tears running down my face, because it was so hard! And so in that moment I just decided. I awakened. I was either going to give up now or I was going to tackle this head on!
So I did what I knew, I worked hard. I was first in at Physiotherapy and the last to leave. I was a woman on a mission – 3 sessions a day 5 times a week.
I had to learn how to use my hand again. I was taught all over again how to pick things up and I had to learn how to walk again. You don’t know what you are capable of in times like this. A switch turned on inside of me, and I channelled my rock bottom moment into pure drive to fight. I was determined to leave hospital not only walking, but running!
I left there running. It wasn’t the most graceful of runs. I won’t win medals for it. It definitely was an awkward looking run. But I did it.
It wasn’t just me, far from it. I had an amazing team of people who helped me. These people made me believe that I could do it. They stood with me when I couldn’t stand and helped me get to where I am today. I was blessed. I had Physio’s, Speech Therapists, Counsellors, Occupational Therapists, Neurologists, and Kinesiologists, family and friends. I could not have come through this with the courage and determination that I had, if it had not have been for my loving supportive family and friends, in particular my twin sister Nicole.
She was there every day and night. Even sleeping next to me in my single hospital bed some nights. I cannot begin to explain how much I appreciate her and count my lucky stars for her kindness and unconditional love, through the hardest time of my life.
Week by week I started to get movement back in my toes and fingers, then arms and legs and my face. I started to walk with a foot brace. Then I progressed to walking with my knee taped up, to walking on my own. And those first few steps to freedom were… indescribable.
As horrific as it was (the experience of paralysis), it was equally as joyful taking those first few steps to walking again. I will forever be indebted to the exceptional Neuro-Physiotherapists at Epworth Richmond, Gavin Williams and also Shaun. It was in my sessions that I met and spent every day with other patients that were going through similar things; car accidents and strokes. So many stories, so much suffering. I found that I had re-evaluated my life, and I was grateful to be getting better, finally. This sort of stuff changes you, it humbles you.
Another man that got me walking again in conjunction with the Physiotherapists, was an Applied Kinesiologist Dr. Michael Bay. After a session with Michael, the Physio’s asked me the next day, “what did you do? You are 20% better overnight, you are recovering so rapidly!”.
It was the Kinesiology session, waking the nerve pathways up from my muscles back up to my brain. The Physio’s at the start warned me that it would take time to learn how to walk again, pick things up, drive a car and get back to normal life. And it was going to be work and luck if it came back at all.
I ran in 6 weeks.
One year on I now had full function back in my body.
This inspired me to go back to college to study Kinesiology and addressing my nutrition helped me get my mobility back so well, that I went back to college to study for a Diploma in Sports Kinesiology, and unravelled the complexities of Autoimmune Disease.
I specialise in the emotional links to disease or physical stress, Autoimmune Disease, symptoms of bladder urgency and frequency, depression and anxiety, fatigue and pain.
I believe that a number of things in combination have helped keep my MS dormant for the past 8 years now. I have now dedicated my life to teach others how I achieved this through my Private Practice Bend like Bamboo, Public Speaking, and now the book I am currently writing about my journey to wellness.
We tailor a program to the individual to help them find balance again. To ‘bend like bamboo’ is to bend with all the change that is inevitable in life.
The best way to describe Kinesiology is it’s like physical psychology. Think of Acupuncture and Counselling in one session without the needles! 90% of our brain capacity stems from the subconscious part of the brain, which is in charge of our memories and past experiences. It is from these memories and experiences that our core beliefs, behaviours and habits are formed, usually from age 0-6 years old.
It is this subconscious part of the brain that we access as Kinesiologists, via the integrity of the muscles. Your muscles are connected to your brain via the Nervous System and run through multiple meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Kinesiology can help you to access blocked emotions, blocked qi and fear-based beliefs that can limit you, ultimately causing physical symptoms and illness.
If your core beliefs are fear based they also affect what you attract in your life. All you need to do is ask yourself ‘does my reality fall in line with my desires?’ ‘Do I have great health?’ ‘Do I attract love in my life?’ ‘Do I have financial abundance?’ ‘Do things seem to come easily or does everything seem hard all the time?’
If your reality doesn’t match what you actually are wanting in your life then you know that your core beliefs do not match your desires you now have as an adult.
These fear-based beliefs and blocked emotions that are not serving you in your life are interfering with your health, thoughts, emotions, what you attract, achieving your dreams and more importantly they are holding you back from having good health.
The results for me have been truly astounding.
After I recovered from that paralysis I came across Dr. Terry Wahls, a Neurologist with Secondary Progressive MS. She had been confined to a tilt-recline wheelchair for a few years. As a Professor of Medicine at the University of Iowa USA, Dr. Wahls has a sound scientific background. For many years she was taught to focus on treating the disease, not on creating health. Modern drugs were failing her and so she hit the books and she studied further at this time and found a miraculous discovery. If she fed the mitochondria (energy centre) of her cells, deficient in those with an Autoimmune disease, she recovered.
Dr. Wahls was told that her MS was likely due to a prior infection and unknown environmental factors. Interestingly no one asked her or mentioned lifestyle or diet. After adopting the ‘Wahls Protocol’ that she designed she went from being in a wheelchair for 3 years to bike riding a marathon in 9 months. Taking a balanced approach, after years of investigating and research, reducing stress with mind-body medicine and educating myself on how to nourish my body on a cellular level, this is now my eighth consecutive year of no new lesions, no disease progression, and virtually no more MS symptoms.
I think its important to note here that I think conventional medicine can work well in conjunction with complimentary medicine. I utilise both in my health program and I do what is right for me. I have found that educating myself about the various fields of research has not only changed my attitude from living in denial, in fear, of my future to feeling empowered and becoming an active and informed patient, reaping benefits from all approaches available in our medical fields.
Knowledge is power. Such knowledge can also only improve patient care and I do hope we can live in a world very soon where our neurologists are teaching and educating their clients about wellness prevention and dealing with the cause of their disease, lifestyle factors and nutrition, as well as treating their symptoms with the conventional drugs that we have available.
In 2014 Pete Evans shared my story and I jumped on stage with him at The Paleo Way. I became booked out in my practice for 6 months in advance and had to hire a few more Kinesiologists to assist me. As a result I saw people from all over the world with various different physical and mental ailments or disease. It has made me the practitioner I am now.
A year later Vino Mofo invested $250,000 and Co-Founded my startup www.nourissh.com to help us on our mission to make ethically sourced and nutrient dense meals convenient to buy and eat – designed to maximize the mitochondria, brain and gut health.
After all that I have learned and what I have studied. To transform the body and mind, for me it came down to 3 core elements :
1. Eat better – nourish your body on a cellular level to achieve results.
2. Feel better – when you eat better you are going to feel better physically and emotionally.
This will lead to making better decisions and allows you to build a life that you value. You can then start to feel worthy enough to design a life that inspires you.
3. This helps you to become a connected human.
It is from this place that you will see things from a new perspective. As a connected human, you will gain a higher understanding of life, potentially leading you to your true purpose or calling. You will be able to see obstacles as opportunities. This flow state is very important in health and in business.
You can find information on my private practice and speaking business here: www.amandacampbell.com.au
My story on video https://youtu.be/rw73nSAcR-U
I hope I have given you an insight into MS, what it is and how it has affected my life, my family and me. I hope that by sharing with you my story of loss and transformation that you come away feeling inspired. I hope I have sparked some motivation, to start your own discovery of disease prevention and wellness.